Gobi Achari, or Cauliflower With Five Spices, is one of those dishes that reminds you just why the food of India is a hit nearly anywhere in the world.
In my last post, I asked you all what it is about Indian food that you love. I loved reading what you had to say, all of it so true. To some, Indian food brought memories of friends, to others, like me, it is mom’s food — the food we grew up with. And to many others, it is the spices, the aromas, the fact that most Indian vegetarian food is rather healthy because it’s based on legumes, grains, and vegetables.
According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there’s also a scientific reason why most of us cannot resist Indian food (except Americans who do). And that allure burrows all the way down to the molecular level: when Indians cook a dish, we tend to use ingredients that have no common flavor compounds. None, zip, nada. Now while this may sound a little esoteric, here’s how it breaks down: most world cuisines tend to pair ingredients that have an overlap in their flavor base: think beef and potatoes, which share common flavor compounds, or beer and cheddar cheese. But Indian cooks (not wittingly, of course, because we are not all born molecular chemists) tend to minimize the use of overlapping flavors in the same dish. And the “hodge-podge” we cook up with all of this diversity results in some powerful alchemy.
The moment I read that, I went a-ha!